This, the third volume of the Elgar family diaries, covers the years in which Elgar emerged as a major figure on the international stage. Again drawing on a wealth of contemporary sources, including letters to and from the Elgars, we follow the composer and his family to further success in Germany and England in 1902; the composition of his largest work, The Apostles, in 1903; their first visit to Italy that winter; the triumph of the Elgar Festival at Covent Garden in the spring of 1904, and their move to Hereford that summer. By the end of the year his fame and his reputation were worldwide: he had been honoured with a knighthood by Edward VII, he had accepted the chair of music at a major English university, and he had become a member of the Athenaeum Club. His absorption into the highest circles of the country’s musical and social life was complete. The diaries reveal a life scarcely known about in any detail until now and the book, as well as being of great interest to Elgarians and lovers of music of the late Victorian age, will be of value to anyone interested in the social history of the period.
Martin Bird is an authority on the life of Elgar and the editor of the Elgar Society Journal. He studied music at school in the days when the A-level syllabus always included a work by Elgar and was bowled over by The Dream of Gerontius, a work he has since conducted. After graduating from the University of Kent and Canterbury with a degree in Economic and Social History and a subsequent career with British Airways, Martin now spends his time playing the double bass, and researching the life of Elgar. His dabblings in the backwaters of Victorian and Edwardian music history have resulted in a research database that has grown to over six million words. The database includes transcriptions of all letters to and from Elgar he has managed to locate plus full transcriptions of all surviving Elgar family diaries. These together form the basis of the Collected Correspondence series. In 2016 Martin was awarded the Elgar Society Medal ‘for his significant scholarship in editing the Elgar diaries and correspondence’.
Volumes of the Collected Correspondence edition can be obtained through all good book stores, specialist music shops and wholesalers, or directly from the publisher. For details, visit the How to Purchase page.
Series II Vol.2 ; xviii + 414 pages ; 152mm x 232mm ; 8 plates containing 27 monochrome illustrations
cloth binding ; ISBN: 978-1-904856-57-3 ; Publication date: 3 October 2016